KINGSPORT — The Kingsport Mets faced a Smoral dilemma in Monday night's Appalachian League game with the Bluefield Blue Jays at Hunter Wright Stadium.
Blue Jays starter Matthew Smoral struck out eight over his three shutout innings, and Bluefield went on to collect a 7-2 win over the K-Mets.
"He was erratic with his fastball, he had no command of it. But he was comfortable with his slider and our hitters just couldn't identify it," said K-Mets manager Jose Leger. "We kept swinging over it and when we weren't going to take it, he'd throw a strike."
Kingsport (2-3) got runners on first and third with no outs in the bottom of the first inning. Smoral got out of the jam with three consecutive strikeouts.
A groundball single in the third inning by Oswald Caraballo was the only hit Smoral allowed.
"When we have a good chance like (the first inning) and let it slip away, sometimes it comes back and bites you," said Leger, whose offense wasn't entirely toothless over the long run.
Francisco Rios (1-0) relieved Smoral in the fourth and extended the shutout to four frames.
With two outs in the fifth, Rios gave Pedro Perez a base on balls. Brandon Brosher followed with a two-run homer to the light pole in left that trimmed Bluefield's lead to 4-2..
The 6-foot-2, 225-pound catcher and designated hitter has cranked out four home runs over the past three games.
"I put a lot of work into my swing during spring training. Coach (Yunir Garcia) has helped me a lot," Brosher said.
"I'm just realizing myself ... and God has definitely had his favor on me throughout the whole thing. I'm a little shocked, myself."
Kingsport's comeback hopes faded after Jays center fielder Anthony Alford crushed a two-run shot over the Blue Monster in the sixth.
Alford went 3-for-4 for Bluefield (2-3). Richard Urena went 3-for-4 with an RBI and Dan Jansen had a double.comments powered by Disqus